A historic visit

Royal visit: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received an audience with Their Majesties The King and The Gyaltsuen yesterday after arriving in the country on their first visit to the country.

Their Majesties and Royal Highnesses offered butter lamps at the Kuenrey of Trashichhodzong after the audience.

The Duchess of Cambridge tries her hand at archery at the Changlimithang range as HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wngchuck and the Duke of Cambridge look on

The Duchess of Cambridge tries her hand at archery at the Changlimithang range as HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wngchuck and the Duke of Cambridge look on

 

 

They were received at Paro airport by Her Royal Highness Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck. Students from various schools greeted the Royal Couple along the Paro-Thimphu highway.

The Duke of Cambridge lets fly an arrow

The Duke of Cambridge lets fly an arrow

Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to Tashichhodzong with a traditional Chipdrel ceremonial procession where They received an audience with His Majesty The King.

Their Royal Highnesses then visited Changlimithang where they were met by HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck.

Their Royal Highnesses even partook in a game of archery using traditional bows and a game of khuru.

Their Royal Highnesses also talked with students of the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth, and Ability Bhutan Society members who were at Changlimithang.

Despite a drizzle, the Royal Couple mingled and interacted with the crowd.

Nine-year-old Tenzin Euden bowed, covering her mouth with her left hand, a sign of respect while talking with distinguished personalities, and whispered her name to the Duke.

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with children gathered at Changlimithang

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with children gathered at Changlimithang

“I was really happy when he talked to me,” the class IV student of Jigme Losel primary school said.

Likewise, other children were also thrilled to have talked to the Royal Couple.

Their Royal Highnesses spent some time talking to the children with disabilities, who had gathered to see them at Changlimithang.

The Duchess and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen, who is the patron of Ability Bhutan Society, share concerns on the welfare of children with both mental and physical disabilities.

The Duchess is the patron of a charity in Great Britain called Place2Be, which provides counselling services to young people with problems.

It was a big day for 40-year-old Sherab Zangmo from Sarpang who hit the target five times in a game of khuru yesterday.

She said the Duchess taking part in the game renewed their enthusiasm to play.

“Had I not played this sport I would have not got the opportunity to meet the Royal Couple who has come all the way from the UK,” she said.

The father of the Duke, The Prince of Wales visited Bhutan in 1998. The last British Royal Family member to visit the country was Prince Andrew, the Duke of York in 2010 at the invitation of His Majesty The King.

His Majesty The King and The Gyaltsuen visited HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall three years ago and took tea with them in Clarence House.

His Majesty The King then invited Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge to visit Bhutan.

Their Royal Highnesses will hike up to Taktshang today.

In the evening, the Royal Couple will meet British residents in the country and senior members of the Bhutan United Kingdom Alumni Association, who have studied in United Kingdom since the early 1960s, which today has more than 250 members.

The oldest guest is a former British lady from Oxfordshire who married a Bhutanese about 50 years ago and has lived in the country ever since. The most recent British resident is a helicopter pilot of the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services.

 Tshering Palden 

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